It’s mid-June – rods are rigged, anticipation brewing and bugs are popping. As we enter the “holy days” of trout dry fly fishing with big bugs make sure your box is full of a number of patterns if headed to the Manistee, AuSable or Boardman rivers. Grey Drakes, Brown Drakes, Mahoganies, Bat Flies, pseudocloeon (big BWOs), Little Yellow Sally Stones, Medium brown/yellow Stones (“mattress thrashers”), Isonychias and maybe more make up a well-stocked fly box for this time of year. Having a few hex in your box wouldn’t be a bad idea as the forecast weather and heat should get those nocturnal bugs to pop on a river near you. Sections of the Au Sable already have seen some hex bugs.
Water levels are still low and clear so stealth and good first presentations are necessary to get those fish – even in low light. If it’s been a while since you fished – for some this is the only time of the year you get out on the water – consider practicing a little before heading out – it will pay off.
It’s time for some insect repellent, fresh batteries in your head lamp, perhaps a cigar and some patience – it is that time of year. And be sure to check for ticks when you get home; there is a noticeable increase in these little guys hiding in the vegetation on the bank as you wait for a hatch.
Carp fishing on the Grand Traverse Bay is going pretty good. Fish have entered the flats/shallow water, but as carp are – sometimes they are simply moving and not feeding. Cover water, cast to all fish within a reasonable distance and have fun. Wind direction and overnight temperatures are important to consider when looking for ideal water for these peculiar fish. Swimming Hex, Crayfish and simple bead headed black wooly buggers (leeches) are always a good bet this time of year. Keep your eyes out for smallmouth – both cruisers and spawning fish – Minnow andGoby imitations are hated by Smallies, so they eat them.
Lakes are still fishing good for the bluegill and bass. As the gills go into a second spawn on some lakes the shallow water is still the place to be. The bigger fish not spawning are moving into the shallows in the low light hours and around vegetation offering both surface and sub-surface action.